Hipstamatic Day 4

I spent yesterday mostly blissed out on Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6 and its amazing conclusion. I wasn’t unable to hit the streets because of my work schedule but I did  manage to take a few Hipstamatic self-portraits before my shift began. Here are a pair of me reclining on SomArts’ infamous dressing room couch.

My homegirl Marie H. commented on the above photo as “Sometimes I look at your photos and think that you photograph yourself the same way a teenage girl would…. so cute!” That about sums my self portrait aesthetic up. Behold!




Tale of the Tape and other Adventures

In the last two weeks I’ve enjoyed making a couple of impromptu videos with my good friend and Chicano filmmaker Tokoztli. Our most recent adventure was a hunt to find cassette tapes in San Francisco. Tokoztli is the foremost Chicano scholar on the life and recordings of Tupac Shakur and he’s been on a quest to collect his albums on tape. Myself, I was looking for Freestyle tapes in a nostalgic nod to my childhood.

We played the SF Spanish Fly tape all the way back to my place in the Mission. Sadly, I haven’t been able to listen to it since because I don’t actually own something that plays tapes. It’s found a nice home on the shelf above my computer.

Our other recent adventure was a small tour of Banksy artworks around the city.

There’s no footage of the Mission District Banksy piece because a pimp was about to regulate on someone just around the corner and we high-tailed it out of there. Here is the actual piece (which can be found at Mission and Sycamore ) below:



Hipstamatic Day 3

Yesterday I woke up sick as a dog. I spent most of the day trying to recover but I did manager to schlep out of bed and go for a walk in the Mission. I shot a handful of images on 24th street between Mission and Valencia using Hipstamatic. The results are below.

Abandoned food cart.

Standing on the iconic Mission Street tile.

Waiting for my order at Phat Philly.

Passing me by, taken through the window of Phat Philly.

That’s it for now. I’ll report back in tomorrow with more Hipstamatic images.



My Finest Hour

If proof were ever needed that I have the world’s coolest boss it’s that we met today at Mission Comics and Art to get  Scott Pilgrim Vol. 6 together.

While there I also met up with the lovely Amanda Martinez of Mission Loc@l and we shot a video for ML’s Mission Eyes segment. I gave a spiel about Brian Lee O’Malley’s hybrid approach to cultural references in such a mainstream book and specific references to Mexican culture within the pages of the series. I also interviewed Mission Comics and Art owner Leef Smith about the shop and Scott Pilgrim.

As of this writing I have yet to read it. I spent a few scant moments at work flipping through it trying not to spoil things for myself. The suspense is killing me.

I’m going home to read some Scott Pilgrim.



Hipstamatic Day 2

Yesterday was a rough day for me but I did manage to get in a couple of Hipstamatic shots while riding to and from SomArts on the 27 Bryant. The photo above is of the empty interior on the 27 at night and the photo below is of an OG smoking a roach on Cesar Chavez near St. Anthony’s. I broke down and purchased all the add-ons for Hipstamatic so more photos will be coming soon.



Hipstamatic Day 1

One of my favorite experiences in art school was the day I got my first cell phone. I ran to class determined to snap a photo of my teacher and creative hero Allan Sekula. “Hey Allan, I just got a cellphone, can I take your picture with it?” I asked excitedly as he was about to start class.

Um sure, I guess.” He replied as he sat in a chair in the center of the classroom. I pointed my phone at him and took a photo using my Motorola’s one megapixel camera. As the phone’s camera went off it made a sound mimicking a shutter opening and closing. Allan’s eyes lit up in amazement. “That’s incredible, you mean the phone makes a sound to emulate an actual camera? To present itself as the technology it’s replacing?

With that in mind, I just had my first day of shooting with Hipstamatic. It’s an iphone app that simulates various medium format films, lenses, and flash filters to create images that look like dreamily aged prints and cross-processed proofs. The main appeal is that it allows the user to create aesthetically experimental images without any post-production work in Photoshop. I’ve gotta say, the images I was able to casually create lived up to the hype that’s been going around. There’s also the appeal of discovering different combinations of the app’s interchangeable films, lenses, and flashes. Below is my photo of San Francisco legend Frank Chu shot with Ina’s 1969 film, John S lens, and the standard flash.

This past Sunday I worked SomArts’ first photowalk produced by CaliberSF. Seeing a horde of photographers with their digital SLRs in hand inspired me to finally give in and try Hipstamatic. I’ve been seeing really impressive images created by friends using Hipstamatic popping up on flickr and facebook for a hot minute. So while Lex and I worked the box office of the event and greeted photographers I whipped out my iphone and fired up Hipstamatic for its maiden voyage. The truth is that the app crashed a LOT on me so it took a while for me to actually start making images with it. Lex was kind enough to be my very first subject and I shot the image below.

I still have yet to really explore the many possible combinations of Hipstamatic but I’m off to a modestly decent start. SomArts’ photowalk was also a big hit and it was great to see Frank Chu again (my third time this summer, por favor believe it). Frank was actually the celebrity guest of the photowalk and he led the procession of photographers around the Soma area. At the post-walk dinner it was a treat to listen to him proudly tell his story of his participation in the post-Mehserle verdict marches and mayhem.

I’m off to experiment a little more with Hipstamatic. In the meantime I’ll leave you with a mother-son diptych:



La Pura Cura Purikura

This past weekend I embarked on my second collaboration with the brilliant and loco por sure Guillermo Gomez-Peña (along with members of his performance troupe La Pocho Nostra). Our project is La Pura Cura Purikura. It’s an ongoing project of purikura photos costumed, performed, and decorated by Gomez-Pena, facilitated and decorated by myself.

For this first shoot we were joined by La Pocha member Kika Olsen (below).

Gomez-Peña had the idea to dress himself as a post-apocalyptic border-shaman. With that in mind we all packed up our costumes and props and traveled to Pikapika in Japantown for a purikura adventure. Suffice to say we turned a few heads while we took photos and as Guillermo and Kika got into their characters amongst confused Japanese teenagers.

Below is a sampling of the images we created together. There are more planned Purikura sessions on the way with La Pocha Nostra so stay tuned! For a full gallery of La Pura Cura Purikura CLICK HERE.